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Cultural Calendar Ideas for March




Of the 13 Moons of the WSANEC, Mid-February to Mid-March is WEXWS- Moon of the Frog.

The Frog on the face of the Moon represents DOLUANW- the Keeper of the Sacred Season, a time to gather food and medicine. 

WSANEC people laid cedar boughs in the water, close to the shore, so the herring will lay roe on them. 

Frog acts as messenger and witness for the WSANEC people. 

This moon also marks the time to put canoes back into the water. 

During this moon, the wonder of nature is an amazing process: Mother Earth warms, and the hibernating Frog wakes from its winter sleep, announcing the coming of Spring. Appearance of the Frog was a sign to end Winter activities/ceremonial dances and move outdoor to prepare for the season when the Salmon People would return. 

Teachings from The 13 Moons of the WSANEC, published by School District 63.  Earl Claxton- Author, John Elliott- Illustrator/Author



World Water Day– March 22:

Indigenous people know water is life and that all life on this planet depends on it. 



Cultural Calendar Programming:

March is a perfect month to talk about the importance of water, learn about the make up of water, use water as a calming tool and sensory experience, share stories and songs that explore Indigenous Beliefs about water.

Elders and Knowledge Keepers could be invited to share teachings. Towards the end of the month host a Spring Equinox celebration to welcome the start to the season and send teachings home with families. 



Art Centre:  

Have the children help create large murals to feature their artwork this month. This could be of the Ocean, rivers, lakes, ponds, waterfalls. 

Feature water in different art activities for children to explore the different properties water holds. 

Ideas: ice cubes and tempera paint, oil and water painting, rainbow water eyedropper painting, tissue paper and water art, saltwater painting. Continue to take art outdoors: watercolor palettes and easels, food coloring water and spray bottles, large paintbrushes and warm water. 

This is a great month to post pictures of oceans, rivers, lakes, streams and other water sources that are important to your local nation(s) to inspire and create conversation in the art are! 



Craft:

With the first day of Spring approaching and the sun making more of an appearance March is a great time to make different Sun Catcher crafts with the children. https://stayathomeeducator.com/20-sun-catcher-crafts-preschoolers-can-do/



Sensory Ideas:

Transform your water table into a river, ocean. Lake or pond. 

Use items such as moss, lily pads, boats, canoes, ocean or pond animals, river rocks, round sea glass, plastic or Styrofoam fish.



Science Ideas:

Talk about the upcoming Spring Equinox, the phases of the moon and what changes will be happening to the land and why. 

Do a few sciences experiments a week with water for the children to learn about the compounds and properties water contains. 

Experiment ideas:

  1. Explore water volume

  2. Explore water density

  3. Explore water absorption

Teacher Ali from Munu’s favourite science experiment is making volcanos erupt and another one she finds a successful learning experience is the Rainbow walking water experiment! 



Cooking/ Food Prep/ Gathering:

Have the children help prepare their own food item once a week to encourage creative processing and independence.   Individual ideas can be making your own sandwich, taco, pizza, salad i.e. chicken Caesar or taco or chef salad.  Bannock tacos are also a great activity for each child to prepare their own.  

Breakfast ideas could include yogurt and fruit parfaits, try using canned, dried or frozen berries harvested in the summer/ fall.  Peanut butter, bananas and toast, oatmeal or cornmeal and fixings etc. are other ideas the children can make their own for breakfast.  Group preparation activities could include making banana bread, fruit salad, three sisters’ soup, trail mix cookies, etc. 

Innovative Idea: AMC AHS in Vancouver helped children to make their own low sugar chocolates to gift to families and Elders! Gifting is an important Indigenous Practice and it is rewarding to see the children participating in such as hands on approach. 









Nutritional Link/ Recipe of the Month:












Playful additions:  


Building Block/ Construction Area: 

Add blocks that resemble the elements of water ie. ocean waves

Add ocean or pond animals, twigs, bark, river rocks to block play this month.  Add cardboard covered in blue felt or blue cellophane that the children can use as a base for building. 




Dramatic Play Area:

Move the books from the reading area to the dramatic play area this month have your dramatic play area resemble a library. Make library cards for the children, add a place that can be the librarian’s “desk” with a bell etc. 

This promotes reading also community helpers and the children like to work together to role play! Hang Indigenous literacy posters in the dramatic play area and make a poster with a book that has the word for book and story in Indigenous language. 



Reading Area

Have an assortment of books that promote water teachings and that celebrate Spring Solstice. 











Outdoor Ideas:

March is the month when Spring arrives. The ground starts to thaw snow melts and mud is starting to be in abundance. Its almost time to put away the snowsuits and replace with muddy buddies. Children can go on walks, splash in puddles/ slush, paint with mud, look for rainbows, make mud pies and other fun activities in the rain, mud and melting snow!  Bring out the water table and bins or have allocated spots so the children can collect sticks, twigs and rocks and be encouraged to make their own rivers, ponds, lakes and construct dams. ttps://www.thecrazyoutdoormama.com/14-fun-outdoor-rainy-day-play-activities-for-kids-embrace-the-rain/



Lofty Ideas:

Conayt AHS turned their Infant / toddler loft into a “sweat lodge.”  Other ideas could be a big house/long house, igloo, kekuli/ pit house, hogan etc. 











Elder Involvement:

Have Elders lead activities and walks out on the land to explore local water sources and to tell hereditary stories about water from their nation and to teach the importance of taking care of the water.  Have Elders come in to tell water stories as well as to sing the water song from a variety of Nations. For most Indigenous Nations this will be a female Elder/ knowledge keeper as many believe woman are the keepers of the water as they are the ones who carry life and the next generation.  What is your nation/ communities’ beliefs on water and special practices?  



Circle time area:   

Innovative Ideas Tammy at PGNFC has created fun and interactive games using dice for movement activities that involve Indigenous Language. 

She has kindly sent us the instructions to share for other programs to make their own dice games. 

Hi, my name is Tammy Teegee I am an ECE at the Aboriginal Head Start in Prince George B.C.

I made the dice game by first ordering dice cubes from Ashley’s Pocket cubes, and they are also available on Amazon.ca under foam dice pocket.  

After I got my cube set, I went online at “Fun Sensory Play” and found the fun sensory cube activity for Toddlers and Preschoolers. I downloaded and printed it on cardstock paper, I cut out my dice pieces separately then found my Carrier language to match. 

Tammy uses her dice games to play action games at circle time and to go on Scavenger hunts. 




Parent Involvement Ideas:

  • Create a Resource literacy library for families. 

  • Choose resource books on a variety of children’s/ family health topics.

  • Choose resource books on parenting topics such as benefits of routines, nutrition, reinforcing positive behaviours etc. 

  • Choose cookbooks that are for parents and children to cook easy recipes together.

  • Choose cookbooks that feature Indigenous Ingredients that may be found in homes or easily accessible. 

  • Variety of Indigenous Traditional Parenting topics

  • Topics such as Indigenous Spirituality

  • Handbooks on how to make Indigenous items such as ribbon skirts, moccasins etc. from a variety of Nations! 

When choosing books look for books that are easy to read and represent a variety of age groups and variety of family dynamics. 

Display your library in the parent room or in the front of the program where it is easily accessible and captures attention of parents. 



Outreach / Activity kits:

Most programs will have a few closure days due to Spring Break. Create a spring break kit to send home that contains: 

-Healthy snacks,

-Community activity/ outreach information

-A activity, game or story in Indigenous Language.

Spring teachings and water protocols from your local nation! 

A fun interactive outdoor item such as a kite, fishing pole, frisbee, etc.… 

Ingredients and directions for an Indigenous cooking activity: ie ... saskatoon smoothies, bison or elk roast, fish or clam or corn chowder, rabbit soup or stew, poached or baked salmon /trout, ling cod and batter recipe for fish fry etc. 

What is a dish traditionally served in your community served at Spring celebrations? 



Resources and related articles:



Book Of the Month:

Autumn Pelletier Water Warrior   Author: Carole Lindstrom

In many nations woman are the keepers of the water. This book pays tribute to two Indigenous water protectors and role models the importance of protecting the water for all. 

AHSABC is very proud to have gifted this book on these two outstanding Indigenous role models to each of our programs across the province.

Books inspired by WORLD WATER DAY!

  1. Cloud Walker Author:   Robert Lucky Budd and Roy Henry Vickers   Cloudwalker, 2014) - Indigenous & First Nations Kids Books - Strong Nations

  2. On the Arctic Shoreline Author: Nunavummi Series: Inhabit Books Ilustrator: Lenny Lishchenko On the Arctic Shoreline (goodminds.com)

  3. Nibi is water   Author:  Joanne Robertson, Isadore Toulouse, Shirley Williams  Nibi is Water, Nibi aawon nbiish English and Anishinaabemowin (BD) (FN (goodminds.com)







  

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